BSBP 2013: beads, challenges, friends!

Welcome! This is my third year doing the Bead soup Blog Party – and the first thing I have to say is “Thank you!” to Lori our hostess and fearless leader. We wouldn’t be here without you… seriously. 

I think my title sums it up: send and receive beads; be challenged/escape your comfort zone; make new friends! And honestly – if you are here reading this – you know what I mean. So let me introduce you to my newest friend and partner this year – Jennifer Cabic. 

Jennifer is an Ohio based artist working in metals and metal clay. Her pieces are created with layers of meaning; she creates amazing intense personal talismans, memorial pieces, that will be heirlooms in the future. I was struck especially this year at how well we were paired. Our work is very different; but we are drawn to metals, incorporating words at times, drawing from our own personal language of symbols, and creating pieces with intent, amulets and personal talismans. I am very drawn to her work, and was thrilled to receive one of her bronze clay clasps in my soup…. (Here’s a reminder of what arrived for me…)

Soup rec'd

I loved the earthiness of the corals and jasper nuggets – and was challenged by the pink tones. 

I loved the warm brass and circular motif of the focal – and was challenged by its tribal style and size. 

I adore the clasp. Using it was not a challenge but a joy!. 

Please know – my soup is fabulous. But I am not a pink person – hence the challenge. Overall I am thrilled with my pieces, both how easily they came together and their final appearrance. (And thanks to Staci Smith for inspiration!!!) I knew I wanted the focal to have a dangle. The tribal/boho/earthy feel sent me to sea urchin spikes and shell daggers. There’s a river stone, howlite nuggets and seed pods in there too: 

Necklace with focal

The rustic bronze sun/floral piece ( at top center in this pix) and the concentric circles I used in the clasp are by Staci of Artisan Accents. They were the perfect elements to unify the focal and the chunky gems and nuggets. I liked the scale of the circular piece and used it for visual balance and to create a clasp with my forged spiral hook. One side of the necklace is strung; seed beads in burgundy accent the darker tones in the coral. The other side is wire wrapped, and the back is finished in recycled sari silk. 

Focal detail

Dangle of chain, bells, sea urchin spines, shell daggers. Bead caps on coral beads are made of copper gears, dapped to fit. 

earrings to match clasp and gear/caps

Left: matching earrings.          Right: detail. Howlite, jasper, lava stone, seed pods, river stone, coral, bronze spiral.  

At this point there was a good deal left over… the green lampwork beads were sparking ideas for a different palette. I knew I wanted the clasp to be a focal in its own right… so chunky stones to give it “presence” and here she is… 

bracelet with clasp

Gems and lampwork – a medley of greens… 

What a pleasure to meet Jennifer and work with the generous assortment that she sent me! Please tune in to the other posts – its a long list – today and over the next few days! I know I look forward to seeing as many as I can… Thanks for taking the time to join me here!

The full list of links can be found here. 

 

 

 

 

 

And now without further ado… Bead Soup!

Reveal 1 Banner BSBP

Hello and Welcome to the first Bead Soup Blog Party reveal! If you are here, you are most likely familiar with Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party ( or BSBP…) but if you just arrived from the far flung reaches of the Universe then here is a synopsis: 2 people, personally paired by Lori, exchange packages, beads aplenty. Head to the studio and make magic, whether it be ornate, simple, a new style, a challenge… Share your creations here. (For all the details, including the future Hop dates – Bead Soup Blog Party. )

My partner – what a nice way to ‘meet’ new people! – is Cassie Donlen. Cassie is a lampwork beadmaker, jewelry designer, and artist extraordinaire. Her work was new to me… was I out in the far flung reaches of the Universe? I love every thing she sent me, and she was so generous! Here is my loot: 

BS6 from Cassie Donlen

( For what I sent Cassie – she has great pix on her blog. )

Donlen lampwork

The first thing that popped into my head was “Exotic blossom”. 

I need to pause here, to build anticipation for the reveal and also to give you a bit of back story/inspiration. My Bead soup from Cassie got lost. There were a few tense days – and the Postal Service is NOT to blame. I sent her my address typed incorrectly. (The whole story is posted here in my first BSBP blog. ) Clearly I did retrieve my package. While some people would attribute this to luck, or coincidence – I think there is a message here. The Universe was shouting at me. The message you ask? Well its all tied in to the ‘exotic blossom’ …

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

Exotic blossom

I kept the 2 main flower focals together, and added dangles.  The stamped copper reads “Risk” and “Blossom” to remind me to move forward and push the boundaries. I hung the blossom on a link of chain, showcasing another of Cassie’s lovely beads. The green and blue together, contrasted with the red…and the nature of the focal were all so visually appealing that I found myself designing a simple piece to accentuate the focal. I had planned to use the fab copper chain Cassie sent for this pendant, but I needed more red for balance. (Silk from Marsha Neal Studio). This is an amulet to me, and while I may add more charms – for right now it is complete. 

The pendant wasn’t the only creation… The first thing I did was this…

BSBP6 bracelet

…using Cassie’s clasp and focal bead. I admit – it was my favorite bead so it got singled out for deluxe treatment. Strung with copper and glass from the Soup, and paired with copper chain, and hand spun sari fiber. (You read that right. Its not ribbon. It was hand spun from recycled saris. YetiandYarndrygoods on Etsy) I am thrilled with this one, and plan to wear it often – whenever I am not in the Ceramics studio, that is…

On a final note – thanks to Lori and to Cassie for yet another fantastic BSBP experience! I appreciate all the time and effort went into organizing, and the creation of these beautiful beads. Each year I participate I am excited to have a chance to PLAY, to do something new and unusual, to be inspired, abe to experiment a bit. But enough of ME – you, my dear blog reader, have other treasure to view, creations to see!

Here is the link to the complete list of participants in today’s reveal: Bead Soup Blog Party July Reveal. Have fun! And thanks for stopping by…

Treasures by post! Its Bead Soup time…

I was so horrified! To realize that because of clumbsy typing on my iPad I had sent my Bead Soup partner the wrong mailing address! After work I knocked on the door of #10. ( I live at #109…) The resident’s Mom was dog sitting. And yes – there actualy was a package! ( My heart is racing! I could have hugged her!) So here to my relief – is my bag-o-treasure from the lovely and talented Cassie Donlen!

BSBP arrives!

So much loot! The big reveal

( If you are lost: here’s the condensed version. Sign up, get a partner. Send them beady treasures, they reciprocate. Make something fab, test your comfort zone, play and experiement. Blog it, hop around, share the love. Its the Bead Soup Blog Party)

So many packages spilling out, bountious goodness on my kitchen counter! “Be a Bad Girl” I love it… 

First there are the colorful beads of the soup itself…

The color palette!

Delicious copper chain! Spiral beads! And to think she has NOT met me – so perfect!

Copper!

The lampwork – Cassie’s own. What a magical mysterious flower, an exotic bloom…And a sweet clasp. 

The big reveal!

The lampwork glass beads in detail. I love the enamleed copper with the green polka dot drop/head pin…. They are going to have to remain together. I have a tendency to design pieces where “Less is more” and the details of the artists bead can really stand out. That means I have multiple  pieces starting to take shape in my mind’s eye. 

Lampwork details.

I am so thrilled with what Cassie sent, and thank her for her calm patience while I tracked down my loot! She was sooo generous to me!

Her shop, you ask? Why yes – its here. 

What did I send her? Her pix are better than mine. 

We are part of Reveal #1 on July 28th. So stay tuned, its just over 2 weeks away!

You can find all the details and list of participants at Lori’s site… our insanely organized hostess. Can you believe she matches us all with our partners individually?! And there are 399 participants over three reveals?! 

 

You can never have too many earrings! Earring Swap reveal!

Earrings and a necklace. Daily wear! Whether I am in the studio, teaching, working from home – I am not dressed without them. So – when Diana of Suburban Girl Studio announced an earring swap – sounds good to me!

My first partner is Linda Younkman. Arent these lovely? The blue beads are very detailed. and I love a spiral motif!

earrings1

And then these came from Mary Shannon Hicks! They are a bit heavier, so not every day wear for me, but that owl!  Thank you so much for all the work in that wire wrapping. 

earrings2 earrings2.2

I know you may hop to other blogs, just wanted to post a picture or 2 of what I sent to my partners…

my swap pairs

I enameled these copper washers, and originally had them paired with enameled discs (seen below). They were so uniform in composition, and lacked movement. So – I had to swap them out for pearl and gem dangles. The vintage bells will add a bit of jingle as they dance around. The extra discs? Sent to my partners -a little bonus for them to make into something…

first version extra bonus

Here is the list of participants. Have fun taking a look. I am sure there will be diverse offerings for every style!

Diana Ptaszynski     http://www.suburbangirlstudio.com
Patti Vanderbloemen        http://myaddictionshandcrafted.blogspot.com/
Lesley Watt        http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Jenny Davies Reazor      http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Melinda Orr      http://www.orrtec.blogspot.com
Cilla Watkins      http://www.tellyourgirlfriends.com
Stephanie Haussler       http://www.pixybugdesigns.blogspot.com
Sally Russick     http://www.thestudiosublime.com
Susan Kennedy       http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Cheryl Brown    www.dragonflybeads.ca

 

 

Treasures delivered…

Over the last few weeks the postman has been steadily delivering magical packages to my door. Well, my mail box anyway. Thought today was a good day for “Show and Tell”. 

First up – Staci Smith. Her shop is chocked full of goodness. She works in a variety of materials: fabricating components and jewelry, sculpting in polymer and bronze clay, silks, sea glass… but thoughout maintains her sense of style. It’s gypsy/folk/tribal/boho if you ask me. And I quite like it! We had a chance to trade…so I selected the “Moon Baby” focal and she selected other treasures to surpirise me. (Sorry for the pix. The moon baby and discs on the lower left are a dark peacock patina that is gorgeous in person. )

trade from Staci

Then there arrived a sweet package from Australia! I have followed the blog and shop of Penny at Sparrow Salvage for years. She has a finesse at upcycling materials that never ceases to amaze. Her style is very gypsy/tribal/boho and I have wanted a piece forever. Recently Penny had a series of traumatic events in her life and I was happy to help out with a purchase, however small. Check out her shop, make a purchase, show some support for a fellow self-employed jewelry artist!

Sparrow Salvage earrings

They are definitely shoulder dusters! I look forward to wearing them at my next festival!

Sparrow Salvage earrings2

Imagine my luck – when I won a give away. You know the type – like our FB pageSecret Scents is line of perfume lockets by Mystic Memories. I was familiar with them because my friend Brigid Ashwood is one of their featured artists. So I left a comment, and Fortune smiled… Its really a lovely piece and smells fantastic. I like the idea of wearing it choker length on velvet ribbon. Suits the locket well. And great packaging too!

Secret Scents locket

And last – but definitely not least: BUTTONS! Cindy Wimmer (Sweet Bead Studio and ArtBliss) is hosting a button challenge blog hop. I am partnered with Sandi Volpe – who treated me to this lovely package…

sandi buttons1

and this treasure trove of possibility. Vintage buttton covers, tiny antique buttons, lovely earthy colors, and the sculptural button bottom right? She cast that one. I see a female form in there. Its calling my name. 

detail buttons1

The hop reveal will happen here and on my colleagues blogs on May 13th. Stay tuned. I have ideas flitting around my head. The possibilities are endless, really. 

detail buttons2

 

There IS one more thing I wanted to mention in this epic post. Sandi and I have nearly met… We both attended ArtBliss workshops last year, hosted by Jeannette Ryan and Cindy Wimmer. (Yes, the button hop Cindy.) This weekend long art/jewelry retreat is held in Northern Virginia/DC in late September.  This will be its third year. It is a great weekend of learning, sharing, immersion, socializing, creating, and camaraderie. I have made great friends there that I look forward to see every September. If you are interested in lampworking, metal smithing, polymer… check out the classes. Registration is open!

Art Bliss badge

 

 

Charmed I’m sure! or “The Postman rang thrice…”

Lucky Charms. Hearts, stars and clover? Yes, and more! 

The crafty creative chicas at Ornamentea in Raleigh NC hosted a “Lucky Charm Swap”. Send in 7 charms, made by your own hands. Pay for shipping. Recieve 7 charms! What a deal! So here is the first package of bead goodness: 

charm pkg

charms1

How tickled was I to recieve charms from Diana P. of Suburban Girl and Elaine Ray! Friends and fellow ceramics people – and both hearts. Too funny. 

charms2

Hey wait – Dawn Gallup is my friend from ArtBliss! Thats her adorable clover charm on the vintage Irish postcard. Nice!

And love the other charms – thank you one and all. Check out the origami box this one arrived in…

charms3

But I did say the postman rang thrice… Package number 2! My custom, one of a kind quote bead! Erin of Tresori Trovati drew names from the contributors in her Challenge of Music blog hop. I won; and I love that she found this quote here on my site and surprised me with it! Lovely! Her packaging is top notch…

treasures found

Oops! I untied the ribbon in my excitement before I thought to take a picture…

Magritte bead

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” Rene Magritte

(Hand stamped and hand painted polymer.)

My third delivery – just arrived today from Staci at Artisan accents. We had met at Berks Bead Bazaar – and she sent me some beads I passed up, and regretted leaving behind… So excited – I respect the polymer, although I prefer “real” earthenware and stoneware. I love her antique finishes. 

artisan accents

So tomorrow definitely a studio day; looking forward to designing with the new bits and baubles.  Today was errands, housekeeping, settling in after a weekend out/reunion with the college girlfriends – what did we do? I will post a few pix tomorrow. The hint: “Aloha” …until then…

 

 

 

 

Convalescence and care packages

So I mentioned that I was recovering from surgery. Here are some images of my convalescence and some fantastic care packages I received…

Burton

Burton was my constant companion the first few days when I lived on the couch!

SD care pkg

Christmas and bonus from Cooky in San Diego! Books, treasures, and home made cookies! Divine!

Snowmen

Snow quintuplets – from San Diego of all places – to stitch and embellish. 

Nina's treasures

Nina’s Treasures – this was a treat to myself. Nina Bagley – the soulful, poetic, mixed media and jewelry artist was doing a bit of a de-stash late last year. I purchased a small box of mysterious treasures – that I managed to NOT open until after surgery. I havent created anything yet, but the wheels are turning. Its a fantastic assortment of treasure. 

flowers

Who doesnt love flowers? 

felt pouch

My triple spiral pouch – I felted a thrift store sweater for the first time and stitched up a few pouches from the sleeves. It was great fun to do a little freehand embroidery. My mother taught us when we were little girls. Some skills never get lost! I prefer to have my hands busy if I am watching TV or a movie, and I am not so handy with knitting needles… What do you occupy yourself with as you bask in the glow of the magical electronic picture box?